The Temple Institute: MK Eldad: Mazuz Must Apply 'Parade Principle' to Temple Mount



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MK Eldad: Mazuz Must Apply 'Parade Principle' to Temple Mount

reprinted from Arutz 7
21:11 Nov 07, '06 / 16 Cheshvan 5767

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad wrote to the attorney general today demanding that Jewish worshippers on the Temple Mount be accorded the same civil rights protection as homosexual parade marchers.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Tuesday, MK Eldad (National Union-NRP) called for the state's chief legal counsel to apply the principles he elucidated regarding the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem to the rights of Jews to worship on the Temple Mount. As of now, police enforce a ban on Jewish worship on the Mount, Judaism's holiest site, due to threats of violence on the part of Muslims, who were allowed to maintain jurisdiction over the mosques on the Mount even after Israel conquered it in 1967. The ban is in effect despite Israeli lower court decisions stating that, in principle, Jews should have freedom of access and of worship on the Temple Mount.

"I was surprised to read and to hear that you ordered the police to make the parade possible despite the widespread public opposition and the concern that mass disturbances would arise in its wake... the first signs of which are already visible in the field," MK Eldad wrote. "At the same time, I am convinced that your position on the matter is one of principle, and you emphasize that freedom of expression and the right to protest must be ensured. However, for reasons of preserving public safety and out of a concern over possible mass disturbances, the Israeli police - with the full backing of the attorney general's office - denies Jews the freedom of worship on the Temple Mount."

On Monday, Atty. Gen. Mazuz rejected a police recommendation to ban the parade, saying, "We have to make a decision, either we give in to threats or we deal with them. We have to exert efforts to find an equation so that it can be secured." Mazuz ordered the police to work together with representatives of the Open House Gay pride organization to find a way to hold the event "with a modest character."

Further addressing the apparent inconsistency in the application of the law in the capital, Eldad pressed the attorney general: "You support the 'modest' right to protest of the [homosexual] community in Jerusalem, but you must surely know that a Jew caught standing with closed eyes and murmuring in a whisper is ejected from the Temple Mount."

In conclusion, MK Eldad demanded that the principles that directed Mazuz "regarding the rights of the homo-lesbian community will also direct him in the matter of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount."

Tuesday afternoon, the police presented the route agreed upon with the organizers of the Gay Pride Parade to the High Court of Justice, in the context of a multiple-party petition filed against the march. According to the agreement reached with the Jerusalem Open House, the parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Friday and last four hours. The parade route is to snake through several main streets, avoiding religious Hareidi neighborhoods, and end at the Givat Ram sports stadium. The petitioners have until Wednesday at noon to provide their response to the documents submitted by the police.

Sometime Wednesday afternoon, High Court Justices Beinish, Rivlin and Procaccia will hold a final session to determine the fate of the Gay Pride Parade planned for Jerusalem.



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